Posts Tagged winter

Helping the birds out

It’s the time of year when our little feathered friends need your help most.  It’s getting chillier and birdies are migrating straight toward us. Now that you’re probably considering trimming your trees and generally cleaning up your yard for winter, what can you do to help out feathered friends in the wintertime?

Here’s a few ideas:

– Put your lawn and plants to bed by mulching them.  This creates a nice little area for worms and helpful bugs to continue to live, and these bugs not only enhance your soil, but will help feed your little feathered friends.

– Set up a bird feeder.  This includes keeping up your hummingbird feeder.  Hummingbirds migrate instinctively and will return to the last place they fed.  Hopefully this place is your yard.   Additionally, keeping the rest of the migrating birds fed will help them in their journey and create a joyful and colorful yard.

– Install a pond, bird bath or waterfall with little pebbles an inch or less under the water-level for birds to perch on.  Birds love to bathe and drink cool, clean water.  Keeping your pond, bird bath or waterfall up will help your friends in their migration, as well, it will aid them as they wait for spring rains.  Obviously, if you live in an area where you expect freezing temperatures, consult with your landscaper about when and how to create a bird friendly bathing spot that won’t damage your pipes.

– Put up a bird house. If you don’t have cats, you can install a bird house close to the ground, in a bush, or another likely spot.  You can get some really neat and distinctive bird houses – bird houses made of gourds, with scraps of recycled materials, etc.

– Plant a tree or some bushes.  Right now is a great time to plant, as new plants will concentrate on establishing their root systems instead of on new blossoms and leaves.  Additionally, it’ll give your feathered friends new places to perch and rest up for continued migration, or just to batten down the hatches for wintertime.

Here’s hoping you have a busy, productive yard this winter!

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Preparing your yard for winter

Labor Day has been and gone, which means summer is officially over.  Even though it’s still pretty warm and very sunny in SoCal right now, it’s a good idea to get your landscape prepared for winter.  Here are some pointers on what to do:

– Prune, prune, prune!

– Remember that winter is a great time to transplant – as your plant is dormant.  So, if you need landscaping, now is a great time to either a) get with a landscaper and get next years yard planned out or b) work out what changes you want to make to your yard.

– Plant winter plants like lettuce and cabbages in your vegetable garden.  If you’re in an area which can get frost (and we get it even in the LA area…) figure out if you want to keep things which will die in the frost  (like tomatoes or peppers) and figure out your protections strategy for them.

– Things are blooming away still, so make sure weeds are cut back and bagged before they go to seed.

– The holiday season is fast approaching.  Try and get your yard cleaned up now, before that final house cleaning rush which is inevitable to having guests over.

– Remember, it’s going to start getting darker sooner, so if you’ve been considering outdoor lighting, make your decision soon, so you don’t trip over your shrubbery when trying to get to the front door of your house in the winter months.

Those are what I think of when summer ends and fall begins, what about you?

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